Irkut’s MC-21-300 airliner developments

The MC-21-300 test aircraft performed a maiden night landing on 31 August, while undergoing flight tests at the airfield of Flight Test Institute named after MM Gromov. The functioning of navigation and landing, as well as external lighting equipment was checked during flight. For instrument testing of its systems, the aircraft performed several passes over the runway from two directions at various altitudes. The flight mission was accomplished successfully and all systems operated properly. 

 Currently, two MC-21-300 test aircraft are undergoing flight tests. Another aircraft is in static tests at TzAGI. Three more MC-21-300 test aircraft are under construction at Irkutsk Aviation Plant, a branch of Irkut Corporation (part of UAC). Two of them will join the flight tests programme and the third aircraft will be subjected to endurance tests at TzAGI.

EASA flight test team to participate in certification tests 

Two test pilots and a flight test engineer of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) completed training procedures and obtained Russian permission to fly for the certification campaign of MC-21-300 aircraft. In the first stage of training, the EASA specialists studied the MC-21-300 design and Flight Crew Operation Manual. Procedures performed on the simulators and test benches included take-off, approach and landing using both landing systems and visual approaches; handling qualities and controllability characteristics of MC-21-300 aircraft in various control modes within the entire range of admissible operating altitudes, speeds, weights and centres of gravity; actions in case of emergency and approaching high angles of attack, when the stall warning activates. 

On completion of the theoretical and simulator training, the EASA specialists performed their familiarisation flights. During the flights they gain familiarity with the basic characteristics of the stability and controllability of the aircraft, landing approach and go around procedures, including simulation of one engine failure. The theoretical and practical training of EASA specialists was provided by test pilots and leading engineers of the Flight Test Facility of the Yakovlev Design Bureau, a branch of the Irkut Corporation.

As Oleg Kononenko, the Hero of Russia and test pilot of the Yakovlev Design Bureau, stated, “thanks their vast experience, our European colleagues mastered control of MC-21-300 within a short period.” Participation of EASA test crews in testing of the new aircraft is a prerequisite to its validation by EASA.

The new Russian short-medium range, narrow-body, commercial MC-21 aircraft is being certified in accordance with both Russian and foreign standards. The application for type certificate of MC-21-300 aircraft was submitted to EASA in August 2016. MC-21 validation is currently underway in 18 panels, established jointly with EASA.